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Robert Reich

Extend the Bush tax cut to the bottom 99 percent, but not the top 1 percent

So far, President Obama has resisted extending the Bush tax cut to the wealthiest 2 percent. Given the post-midterms realities, he should compromise on 1 percent.

By Guest blogger / November 3, 2010

OK, Marilyn, you can keep your diamonds. President Obama should offer to compromise with the Republicans: keep revenues from the wealthiest 1 percent but cut taxes for everyone making less than half a million per household.

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Expect the President to be under more pressure to give in to Republican demands that the Bush tax cut be extended to everyone — not just the bottom 98 percent but also the the top 2 percent, earning over $250K.

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He should respond by offering this olive branch: Extend the Bush tax cuts to the bottom 99 percent — to families earning less than half a million dollars.

But not to the top 1 percent.

The top 1 percent now gets almost a quarter of the nation’s total income — a larger share than at any time since the 1920s. The top 1 percent have also received about 40 percent of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.

The “Not for the Top 1 Percent” olive branch will draw a clear line in the sand. If Republicans won’t accept the offer, let them threaten to raise everyone else’s taxes in order to get a sweet deal for their patrons at the very top.

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on www.robertreich.org.